Characters from a range of historical eras entertained almost 400 visitors who came to celebrate 10 years of the Chichester District's award-winning museum.

Since officially opening its doors to the public on Sunday 8 July 2012, the museum has established itself as a much-loved visitor attraction in the heart of Chichester's city centre. At the 10th anniversary celebrations, a birthday cake marked the museum's achievements over the last decade, including major exhibitions, the museum's learning programme, and artefacts from the museum's extensive collection.

Visitors to the birthday celebrations also enjoyed:

  • the Stone Age Boxgrove Man and Brutus, the brave Roman Centurion;
  • code breaking with 'Joan Clarke';
  • traditional parlour games with a Victorian school teacher;
  • mini archaeological digs led by 'Dr Forbes', founder of the original Chichester museum; and,
  • space workshops with an astronaut in training for a mission with Tim Peake.

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Services at Chichester District Council, says: "We're incredibly proud of our award-winning museum and what it has achieved over the last ten years, both with and for our community. The purpose-built museum has enabled us to tell the story of the district and its rich heritage better than ever before and allowed us to host an exciting range of temporary and touring exhibitions.

"A fantastic cake — created by Deva Armstrong of 'Crafty Tales' — marked some incredible exhibitions, including 'Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey'; 'Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man'; and, the current 'Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity', all of which have attracted tens of thousands of visitors of all ages. 

"It was wonderful to see so many visitors enjoying and engaging with the museum at the anniversary celebrations. The birthday party was a fantastic opportunity to thank our visitors, without whom the last ten years would not have been possible. I would encourage everybody to visit our fantastic museum and enjoy everything it has to offer."

The museum's current headline exhibition, 'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity', highlights the huge range of unrivalled cultural experiences from across the district. Running until February 2023, the exhibition tells the story of Chichester's arts, culture, and heritage from 1962 — when Chichester Festival Theatre opened — to the present day, embracing professional and amateur work across all art forms. Admission is free with donations gratefully received. People can find out more about the exhibition on The Novium website.

The exhibition inspired the wider season of culture taking place across the district this summer, Culture Spark 2022, and you can find out more about the events on the Culture Spark web page.

Date of release: 14 July 2022

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